Markets

Pfizer-Allergan Deal Grabs Headlines in Short Week

Monday, November 23, 2015

The major indexes are on track to start today's session effectively flat. But this will follow impressive gains last week on the back of investors' growing comfort with the Fed announcing the first rate hike at next month's meeting.

John Williams, the San Francisco Fed President, reconfirmed over the weekend what had come through from minutes of the last FOMC meeting: that lift-off will most likely arrive at the mid-December meeting. Markets had long been wary of this prospect, but seem to have found their peace with the move as a vote of confidence in the economic outlook. Also, the start of the process will move us past the never-ending speculation about lift-off timing and greater focus on the likely trajectory of rate hikes down the road, which the Fed has been emphasizing will be slow.

The economic docket this holiday-shortened week likely doesn't have much Fed implications. We have readings about housing, personal income, durable goods, consumer confidence and another look at the Q3 GDP report on deck for release this week. But none of these readings can move the needle with respect to what the markets expect the Fed will or will not do.

The economic reading that will have a bearing on current Fed expectations is the November jobs report coming out on December 4th. As we have mentioned in this space in recent days, lift-off is effectively guaranteed in the mid-December Fed meeting unless the December 4th jobs reading comes up short. That doesn't seem likely given what we have been seeing in recent economic data.

In a major corporate deal, drug giant Pfizer ( PFE ) is combining with botox maker Allergan ( AGN ) in the largest transaction in the space ever. Pfizer was also involved in the previous largest transaction when it had teamed up with Warner Lambert. There is talk that the combined company, which will relocate its corporate headquarters to Ireland, will split into two companies - a slower growing and mature player and a growthier operator with a deeper pipeline of new drugs.

One aspect of the deal that will likely get the most limelight in the coming days is taxes - this is, after all, an inversion deal where an iconic American firm is combining with an Ireland-based drug maker to lower its taxes. Hard to tell how the U.S. government will respond to this deal, though the announcement comes days after the Treasury department's release of new rules specifically targeting inversion deals.

Sheraz Mian

Director of Research

Note: In addition to this daily pre-open article about the market, economy, and the corporate earnings picture, Sheraz Mian also provides detailed earnings analysis in his weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALLERGAN PLC (AGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

PFE

Other Topics

Stocks US Markets

Latest Markets Videos